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Gaza Strip Descends Into Chaos
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Security chaos and violence deepened in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning after gunmen killed three children and their father's bodyguard Monday in the southern Gaza strip, security sources said.

On Tuesday morning, clashes between Hamas-controlled auxiliary forces and security members of Fatah wounded four people.

Witnesses said that security members were protesting the Monday killing in Khan Younis when the clash occurred.

In a sign of how desperate security has become in the Gaza Strip, a group of children took to the streets Tuesday burning tires and threatening lapidations if the "adults" did not stop causing chaos.

Dressed in jeans and a blue shirt, 12-year-old Saeed Salem and his friends said they were infuriated by the killing of three young brothers on Monday and fed up with the constant security nightmares ruining their short lives.

"We are angry," said Salem, as he and his young colleagues set about burning tires in a central Gaza street. "We need those who killed the kids to be found and stoned to death."

His friend, Ahmed, hands blackened from wheeling abandoned tires on to the bonfire, said the adults were mired in rivalries and had abandoned the kids. "We have no amusement parks to attend and no sport clubs to go to. At least let us live in peace," the boy said.

Gaza took another step towards chaos on Monday when gunmen shot dead three brothers, aged between 6 and 9, as they were being dropped off at school. Their father was an intelligence officer close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, giving the killings a political bent, although no-one has claimed responsibility.

Fatah, the party headed by Abbas, and its rival Hamas, which runs the Palestinian Government, have blamed one another for the killings, deepening tensions between the well-armed movements and their militias.

Abbas mobilized forces to restore order Tuesday and called for a day of mourning for those killed. However, rival gunmen still clashed, wounding at least two.

As well as the children, mothers also expressed alarm at the killings and despair at Gaza's spiralling crisis.

"Life in Gaza has turned to hell," said Umm Mohammad, a woman attending a mourning to honor the boys. "The government and the president are busy in their disputes, careless about the people's lives."

(Xinhua News Agency, China Daily December 13, 2006)

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